Media release, 24 January 2018: “The rebranded TPP 11 outcome announced today appears to be a mess of separate deals cobbled together to meet issues raised by Canada and others, which Trade Minister Steve Ciobo has described as “18 free trade agreements” for Australia.
Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
22 January 2018: A report published by the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives (CCPA) last week has revealed that Canada has paid out nearly $220 million in losses under the NAFTA investor-state dispute settlement mechanism (ISDS), and $95 million in legal fees defending against ISDS claims.
January 19, 2018: A new report by Greenpeace, Justice for People and Planet, uses 20 case studies of global corporations to explain how corporate power is being used to violate human rights and environmental rights. The report argues that governments should adopt 10 Principles for Corporate Accountability to curb ‘corporate capture, collusion and impunity’.
January 16, 2018: Bloomberg reports that Japan’s income from monopolies on brands, patents (including medicines) and copyright has jumped by 74% over the past five years to a record high. That is why Japan has replaced the US as the major champion of stronger medicine and copyright monopolies in the TPP-11 and RCEP negotiations.
10 January 2018: As the remaining 11 members of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (now rebranded the ‘Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans Pacific Partnership’) struggle to reach agreement, some strange reports are appearing in the media.
The Financial Times has reported that the Department for International Trade in the UK has held informal talks about joining the TPP. The UK cannot sign trade deals until it leaves the EU after Brexit, in March 2019.
January 9, 2018: A working group of the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) recently held talks to discuss current concerns about the investor-state dispute settlement (ISDS) scheme, and possible reforms. UNICTRAL is one of the two bodies which provides panels of investment law arbitrators for ISDS disputes.
December 21, 2017: The Australian Council of Trade Unions (ACTU) has warned that the attempt to revive Trans-Pacific Partnership without the US would still lead to increased numbers of vulnerable temporary migrant workers from at least six countries outside of Australia.
6 December, 2017: Professor Jomo Kwame Sundaram, a former UN Assistant Secretary-General and co-author of this critical study measuring the employment costs of the original TPP, has written an article debunking some of the main myths about the newly named Comprehensive Progressive Agreement for Trans-Pacific Partnership (CPTTP).
November 28, 2017: The Turnbull government is trying to revive the TPP and retain many of the worst US-initiated clauses. The TPP-11 leaders have not met their deadline to finalise the text, but at the latest round of negotiations they salvaged a possible deal. The agreement has been rebranded the ' Comprehensive and Progressive TPP', and some of its most controversial clauses have been suspended, pending the US rejoining the agreement. The negotiations will continue in 2018.